Friday, July 12, 2013

Corn and beans - "oh how you have grown and what do we do with you?"

Our last posted photo of corn and beans was dated June 23rd.  It is quite amazing with a bit of sunshine, warm weather and about 3/4 inch of rain.......this is what happens in 2 1/2 weeks time.  We are blessed!!!

July 10, 2103 - Soybean field

July 10, 2013- Soybean plant (I also see teeny tiny flowers - beans are coming.....)
July 10, 2013  - Corn field
July 10, 2013 corn plant - many, many more leaves have grown!
It is so much fun watching these two particular fields of corn and beans.  We've had the honor of hosting these two crops on these fields many times before, but now they are like celebrities getting captured in photos.  This stalk of corn is standing tall and proud for the paparazzi because it's excited to be an American corn plant!  "I'm glad to be an American (corn plant), where at least I know I'm free (to blow in the wind) know the rest of the song- sing along!

We have been asked why do you raise these particular crops and what do you do with them once they are harvested?  Well, the answer to the first question is very simple, our growing conditions and soil work very nicely for corn and soybeans.  There are also other crops grown in our area such as small grains and alfalfa    We haul the majority of our corn and soybeans to a local elevator Elbow Lake Coop Grain about 14 miles away . We also have on-farm storage where we can store crops to contract later in the year or the next year (we'll get into that in a later post).  The corn we grow goes mainly for domestic usage.  We do not export hardly any soybeans or corn out of the US now because of last year's small crop.  We need corn that we grow to say here in the states.  The main usage of our corn goes to animal feed, ethanol and corn syrup.  We know that there is much controversy on both the subjects of ethanol and corn syrup that we will address in future posts and tell you "our story".

 The soybeans that we grow and haul to our local elevator are used in soybean meal (animal feed) and soybean oil (human consumption).  At this time about 80% of the soybeans grown in the US are processed and stay here in the states.  The rest are mostly exported to China.  Note of interest:  If you hear or read about the supply and demand of corn and soybeans, you know that we are short - meaning that we grew barely enough to cover our needs last year which makes the export market slow.  The news now is focusing on the 2013 crop and so far according to the USDA it will be the best ever.  We'll only know after harvest and there will be a lot of weather to deal with before than.

Our family also works with Pioneer to grow parent seed - meaning we grow seeds that farmers plant.  The delivery point is in Wahpeton, North Dakota which is about a 120 miles round trip from our farm, but we are paid for transportation and the handling of the beans so it is worth the extra time!

In doing the research for this blog, I hopped on the internet and Googled "crops grown in Douglas County, MN" and the first article that popped up was dated 1975. Okay?!? So I looked further and all the other articles were earlier in time.  Obviously, no one has written about the crops grown here in quite some time or it wasn't posted on the internet.  My investigative brain led me to calling the Farm Service Agency for our county because in order to get crop insurance you need to certify your acres with the government (another story one day!!).  I figured they would have all the answers I needed as to what crops are grown here.  Yeah, not really... they could only guess on the certification of crops stated above, but thought there were others grown in our county but not certified - hmmmm- interesting? So they led me to the county extension office because they would know.  I called the extension office, nice people but sent me right away to the state farm line - which is an 800 number and answered by a machine.  I do know it's Friday and maybe a real person does answer the phone, but come on?!?  So you'll have to take my word for what we grow here - and it comes from my personal observation of touring my own county!  Wow-what a phone trail trip I've been on.....

Without ado, I'd like to thank Al Mashek, General Manager of the Elbow Lake Coop Grain elevator for his time in supplying me with information about the transportation and usage of the crops we grow in our area!  Thanks again Al - it's always a pleasure to visit with you! AND you are a real person with real answers!  Yahoo!!

Yep - still loving farming - Julie-

1 comment:

  1. I feel like I just doubled my farming knowledge!:)